Metal/stud detector

Following on from Adam's adventures in the Holy Pipe land, anyone got any recommendations as to a half decent pipe/cable/stud detector. There seem to be some exciting ones with radar[1] and all sorts by Bosch and others in some of the catalogues. Do they earn their keep?
[1] My memory may play false here, it's been a few days since I was idly looking.
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Scott

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I've got a Bosch DMF10 - whilst it's better than the analogue no-name thing I had before - it's bit disappointing for bosch pro-grade stuff.
Cable and copper pipe detection reasonable, provided they're just under the surface - doesn't detect them at all well 50mm deep into studwork (i.e. behind skimmed 12mm plasterboard, and away from the studs).
Detecting studs, even after following their no-so-intuitive set-up/ calibration - frankly - lousy.
It's the only bosch pro thing I've ever used that hasn't been excellent.
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On 03/03/2011 14:55, snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

I generally have more success using a strong magnet to find the plasterboard screw heads.
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Mike Clarke

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I have a cheap one that works reasonably well for wiring and pipes and is useless at studs. I suspect it's because of the insulating material now put into stud walls so there is little difference in density.
Jonathan
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On 03/03/2011 11:01, Scott M wrote:

I've had 3. B&Q one that went in the bin after a week, a Lidl or Aldi one that works OK & and a B&D one that also works OK.
Not well or good or properly - just OK.
Flakey at best as Dom says.
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I've a Zircon one (which I've seen recommended here) which is barely OK. It takes a certain amount of skill and guesswork to use. I inherited it, but had I paid for it, I'd have been disappointed.
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On 04/03/2011 10:38, Huge wrote:

Mine current one's a Zircon too, and I find it pretty good actually. Certainly by far the best of three I've owned (others were Plasplugs and Draper IIRC)
David
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Having recently moved house I was conscious that I would be starting afresh with regards to knowing 'what lies beneath' and given the acceptable decor I didn't want to do much too much hacking around to find out.
So, looking far and wide at the multitude of detectors available it soon became obvious it is something of a hit-and-miss affair seperating the wheat from the chaff, however I have come to the conclusion that it is operator expectations/ability that should be taking a fair amount of this blame.
I eventually settled on a relatively-cheap Stanley Intellisensor (Model 077255) and have actually been pleasantly surprised by how well it works - *if you you use right*!
I should point out the probably-very-relevent fact that our new house is indeed quite new (2007) and is very consistent with its build; that being plasterboard everywhere (either dot-and-dob onto masonry, or a mixture of wood/metal stud partitions). Notwithstanding what it likely to therefore be quite an easy environment for a detector to work in it does nevertheless work extremely well for detecting studs etc with a fair degree of accuracy. Various depth settings (sensitivities) are available and it deals equally well with 12.5mm skimmed plasterboard or 25mm flooring.
Wiring (or rather mains voltage) detection is less precise - it is sometimes sensitive to cabling over 6 inches away but I am confident in the strict adherence to the use of safe zones and reg compliance so that function doesn't interest me. To that end, I did actually remove the buzzer (relying solely on the LED/LCD display) as the often endless buzzing did get a bit annoying.
I haven't used it for pipework detection (plastic piping hence probably no good, although the stud detection aspect might pick them up depending on depth).
Whilst I initially bought it with the intention of using it solely for a quick mapping of walls before taking further checks and measures before drilling etc I've now got enough confidence in its abilities that I take it as the first and last word on the matter. I'll be sure to post back just as soon as this trust has proven to be a step too far...! ;-)
Mathew
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I've had a similar model for several years, and am pretty much disappointed in it.
They do say that it might not work for lath-and-plaster, and for me it doesn't. Surely modern technology can do better? Neutron activation analysis? Low energy X-rays?
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